New poll suggests growing support for pipeline in B.C.
A new poll suggests a slim majority of British Columbians support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, but those opposing it don't appear to be backing down.
A survey by the Angus Reid Institute released on April 18 found 54 per cent of British Columbians polled support the twinning of the existing pipeline that transports diluted bitumen from Alberta's oil sands to port in Burnaby, B.C.
Thirty-eight per cent of British Columbians surveyed oppose the pipeline expansion.
Support for the pipeline project has increased slightly since Angus Reid last checked in February, when just under half of British Columbians supported the project.
When it comes to the specific environmental risks, British Columbians are concerned about, just over half of those surveyed said they're personally concerned about a spill or accident involving an oil tanker.
Sixteen per cent of those surveyed said their biggest concern was the overall environmental impact of fossil fuels. Just 14 per cent said their biggest concern was a spill or accident along the pipeline route.
The poll surveyed 2,125 Canadian adults on April 16 to 17 and is considered accurate 19 times out of 20 +/- 3.0 per cent.
On the day the numbers were released, anti-pipeline demonstrators converged on the courthouses in downtown Vancouver to support fellow protesters showing up for their court date after being arrested outside Kinder Morgan's Burnaby worksite.
Demonstrators unfurled a massive banner from the courthouse's pedestrian bridges over the road that read "resist Kinder Morgan pipeline."
"We hung this banner … In solidarity with the folks who are going into court today to answer to the charges that they have gotten for standing in front of the tank farm and blocking Kinder Morgan's construction," said climate campaigner Peter McCartney.
"[We're] just hoping it reinforces the fact that B.C. has not given consent on this Kinder Morgan pipeline," said demonstrator Christina Gower.
The energy infrastructure company's Burnaby facility was the site of ongoing demonstrations in March and April as people tried to prevent work from being done on the pipeline by blocking the worksite's entrance.
About 200 people were arrested and released at the site, and told to show up in court later. Originally, demonstrators thought they would face civil charges but on Monday they learned they could be facing criminal charges.